The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

A group of in-home health care aides who claim the state illegally reduced their wages can file a class-action lawsuit, following a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to the workers, who are part of the state’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program, California violated federal law when it cut state employees’ pay in an effort to balance the state budget.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a police department’s search of an officer’s text messages was reasonable and didn’t violate the officer’s Fourth Amendment rights. The court said that even if the officer had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his text messages, the search was motivated by a legitimate work-related purpose and was not excessive in scope.

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Employers aren’t allowed to delve into an employee’s disabilities or medical history when that employee wants to keep the information private—unless the employer can show a job-related reason for doing so. To qualify, the inquiry must be narrowly tailored to assess whether the employee is capable of performing the essential functions of his job. Broad questions often run afoul of the law.

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Former employees of Polo Ralph Lauren’s California stores have agreed to settle a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit for $4 million. The workers claimed store managers violated California’s labor laws by failing to pay them for time spent while they were locked in the store for 10 to 15 minutes at the end of each shift during security checks.

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A former partner at Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell has filed a lawsuit accusing the law firm of breaching his employment contract, violating the labor code, fraud, negligent misrepresentation and libel and slander.

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that California law on who is or is not an employee goes beyond the definition contained in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and includes a broader measure of who is an employer.

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that California law on who is or is not an employee goes beyond the definition contained in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and includes a broader measure of who is an employer.

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Here’s an easy way to prevent a discrimination claim: Offer everyone holding the same position the same opportunity for training. Otherwise, supervisors may play favorites, and that can end in litigation if the better-trained employees end up getting the promotions.

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Here’s an easy way to prevent a discrimination claim: Offer everyone holding the same position the same opportunity for training. Otherwise, supervisors may play favorites, and that can end in litigation if the better-trained employees end up getting the promotions.

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The Communications Workers of America union and Verizon West have agreed to a new three-year contract that promises higher pay, continuing health benefits and more union jobs. Under the new collective-bargaining agreement, workers will receive an 8.25% wage increase over the contract term and will continue to receive free health benefits.

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